A Concise Companion to Shakespeare on Screen (Concise by Diana E. Henderson

By Diana E. Henderson

This Concise spouse offers a multidisciplinary variety of methods to an enormous multimedia topic, Shakespeare on monitor. The book’s individuals use the most recent pondering from cultural reviews, communications, and comparative media, in discussion with literary, theatrical, and filmic techniques, on the way to push the sector ahead. they give thought to Shakespeare on display not just as a collection of entire items but in addition as a procedure. for that reason, the amount is geared up round themes akin to authorship and collaboration, theatricality, intercourse and violence, globalization, and historical past. The Concise spouse deals readers a number of available routes into Shakespeare on display and helps additional examine of the topic during the inclusion of a bibliography, a chronological chart, and an intensive index. while, it serves as a focus for exploring primary matters within the learn of literature and tradition extra extensively, akin to the relationships among elite and pop culture, artwork and undefined, textual content, snapshot, and function.

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Extra resources for A Concise Companion to Shakespeare on Screen (Concise Companions to Literature and Culture)

Sample text

Richard Loncraine’s Richard III (1995), Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996), Julie Taymor’s Titus (1999), and Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet (2000) do, despite what the directors say, represent a more complex, playful, and/or painful confrontation with Shakespeare and with what Jean Howard calls “the radical otherness of the past” (1992: 25). These films, I argue, represent a profoundly nostalgic desire to claim the truth and authenticity 14 Getting Back to Shakespeare attached to Shakespeare’s language.

Rosenthal’s arguments echo Catherine Belsey’s influential 1983 essay (reprinted in Shaughnessy 1998), “Shakespeare on Film: A Question of Perspective,” which presents an essentialist argument about the limitations of cinema. Belsey claims that the film medium is inherently conservative because the cinematic frame, like the nineteenthcentury proscenium arch stage, reduces the multiplicity of potential meanings to a single, unified point of view which is imposed on the passive viewer. Whereas the Shakespearean text is “interrogative,” 11 Elsie Walker full of questions, representative of and subject to multiple perspectives, the Shakespearean film is a “classic realist” text which presents unified, selective, and limiting meanings to an audience without permitting interpretive flexibility (Belsey 1983: 155–6).

In other words, they might be understood as inviting interrogative responses in precisely those ways Belsey disallows. Loncraine’s Richard III is dominated by the parodic incorporation of “period” details, sending up the reconstruction of history associated with heritage films (Loehlin 1997), and indeed the very notion that 19 Elsie Walker history or “Shakespeare” can be authentically represented. Items from the 1940s are seductively photographed in close-up: from genuine “Abdullah” cigarettes (a rare packet was bought especially) to cars and costuming (McKellen and Loncraine 1996: 48).

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